Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick Update-Trusting in the Lord's Plan

Just wanted to type a quick update about the Harvest Training Center opportunity.  We finally got a phone call back today that we will be going to Chicago next weekend!  Yes, Sam and I are going alone!!! This is even more exciting because its a week away from us celebrating our 10th anniversary.  I am so excited for this opportunity and being able to be away together for 3 days, which is a first for us in about 8 years.
So, my mind is racing in preparing for this trip away.  The kids are all being split up to different peoples houses while we are gone so I have to pack all of them separately (except Bryson & Landon).  I also am a bit nervous about leaving my baby Hudson for 3 days.  It is easy to leave the older ones because they understand that I will be back in 3 days, but Hudson just doesn't.  However, I am very confident in his caregiver...no worries there and I trust the Lord to take care of all of them while we are away.
Please pray for Sam as well as he will be traveling to Hickory, NC on Thursday to visit with a Harvest affiliate church there and the pastor.  He will spend the day with him and be involved in some staff meetings, etc to get a feel for the ministry there and how things are done.  Also, pray for Sam as he has to prepare a 25 minute message to preach to the staff at Harvest while we are up there for "evaluation weekend."  I know he would appreciate prayers as he seeks clarity and understanding.
I have to admit this past weekend I was a bit discouraged because they hadn't called yet and I was thinking, "God, is anything EVER going to work out for us."  Let me just answer this and say I know that was a dumb thing to say!  I was thinking very selfishly for the moment.  I have complete peace knowing that God is ultimately in control of everything!  If this is His purpose and plan then so be it, but if it isn't I will trust that He knows whats best and has an even better plan than I could ever imagine.  Whew....that was hard to type, but so true!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Waiting Game

I think I would have to say after my short 33 years on earth that waiting has to be the hardest part of life!  I see it in little things, like when I am cooking dinner and having to wait for something to cook, when I needed to be finished 30 minutes ago. : )  I see it when I am sitting in the drive thru line that is suppose to be "fast" and isn't.  I see it when I am ready to go somewhere and we are right on time and my 5 kids are not in so much of a hurry to get in the van, buckled and ready to go.  I see it when I am watching my sweet daddy suffer and wonder how much longer till he gets to go "home."  I see it when I am praying for a particular need we have and I need it taken care of today and it doesn't get answered how I see fit!  But, then I am reminded of all the times God has blessed and taken care of us in His timing and it always brings Him glory.  I always have to stand back and just say, "thank you Lord!"  If things only worked out the way I thought, then I wouldn't need God.  So, again today and everyday I am reminded that waiting is part of the "game" of life.  I could type on and on about the things I am "waiting for," but in the end it is just empty words to you.  God is the one that will answer in His time.  He is faithful!

Psa 27:14 - Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psa 31:24 - Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Psa 37:7 - Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psa 37:34  - Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Psa 38:15 - But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
Psa 39:7- "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psa 130:5 - I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yesterday I celebrated my 33rd birthday!  I sent a text to one of my friends and told her that 33 felt pretty good!!!  Sometimes I think about getting "old" and it seems a bit scary, but mostly I have learned to embrace the life God has given me and enjoy every minute.  Thought I would reminisce about a few things that have happened this past year in my life (keeping this list as brief as possible):

  • In June of last year my dad was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the base of tongue and into his lymph nodes.  This completely changed my life!
  • In June/July, Sam was gone 2 separate whole weeks for camp once and youth conference another and I survived with 5 kids all by myself!!!
  • In August I started my 2nd year of homeschooling, this time adding Landon in K5, Bryson started 2nd grade.  I had no idea what this school year was going to hold...
  • In September Sam resigned his position at Tabernacle because he had a pretty promising position at another church, however that fell through.  God had much BIGGER plans for us!!!!
  • In November we moved in with my parents while Sam continued his job search.  I started working part time/seasonal for Gymboree, which has become permanent since and I enjoy very much.
  • In December dad had a PET scan after he completed his radiation/chemo treatments and told that the cancer had responded some but was still present.  Also, we were blessed with a bountiful Christmas for our kids, thanks to some wonderful people!!!
  • In January we joined a small group at church.  Couldn't imagine then how important this great group of people would become in my life.  I have been so challenged and encouraged by them all.
  • In February my new niece was born into this world and I became an aunt for the first time!  Love Adam & Latosha, and just wish they lived closer to us.  I also started a 8 week study
  • In March, we surprised the kids with a couple days away at Great Wolf Lodge.  We had a fabulous time and were so glad that God provided for us to go.  Dad had another PET scan near the middle of the month that confirmed the cancer was definitely there and growing! Sam received a phone call from Harvest Bible Fellowship to start the interview process.
  • In April dad had some major setbacks with his health that led him to choose no more treatments.  Now, I have the privilege to help care for him.  We also enjoyed a quick visit from my brother, sister in law and new niece.  I loved meeting her and enjoyed getting to know my sister in law even better.  
So, I guess the last year has been pretty crazy!  Some days I just wake up and think, will my life ever be "normal" again, or is this the new normal?  Seriously, I thank God everyday for His blessings on me.  I have an awesome, Godly husband who has a burning desire in his heart to passionately serve God.  I have 5 beautiful, healthy children who bring much excitement to my life.  I have 2 parents who love me and have given us a place to live and an opportunity to serve them in a way that I never thought.  I have great friends who have literally become like family to me over the last year.  I will have to say that I can't imagine what God has in store for me this year....but really can it get more exciting than this?

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Better Half

I remember being a little girl and dreaming of what it would be like to be married.  I had lots of fairy tales on my mind and thought my prince charming would come and sweep me off my feet and we would live happily ever after.  Don't get me wrong, I love my husband with all my heart and wouldn't trade him for anything, but life isn't such a fairy tale.  Sometimes those love stories that are in all the movies make marriage and love look so easy and somewhat fake.
I am so thankful that God has given me a husband who loves God with all of his heart.  Looking back over the almost 10 years of marriage (June 9th), I see how God has brought both of us together.  It was in God's perfect plan.  God knew exactly that I would need Sam to help me become more like Christ and to challenge me to grow spiritually.  I love that we can sit down and talk about spiritual things and how they affect us and our family.  My husband has made a lot of hard choices and decisions over the last 10 years, but I have watched him grow in grace and become a better Christ follower because of it.  Walking away from everything you know and are comfortable with isn't easy, but I am thankful for how he has led our family.
I have no idea where God will lead us next or how that will work out, but I know that I have a husband who loves God even more than he loves me-and for that I am grateful!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When My Kids Imitate My Behavior

One of the hardest things about being a parent is watching my kids imitate my character flaws.  It seems I can teach them a million things in a day, but they are sure to pick up the one thing (or more) that I do wrong!  I think my kids have taught me more about myself than anyone else could have ever done.  It's not easy taking criticism from anyone, but when you see the "subtle criticism" I receive watching my kids react to certain situations I am cut deep in my heart.
I long with everything I am to break certain patterns that I possess so that my own children won't have to struggle with those same things when they become adults.  I am reminded daily that I can take every situation presented (which by the way is a lot with 5 kiddos 7 and under!) and make it a teachable moment of how Christ would want us to respond, or screw things up horribly and have to cover my tracks later and apologize and reteach everything of "what not to do."
The only way I can be the kind of mom I should is to stay close to the Lord and not become stagnant in my relationship with Him.  My one true desire in my life is to pass on my love for the Lord and desire to serve Him with all my heart.  A heart that is genuine and unselfish in every way.  If I am to do this, it is only through the grace and mercy that God grants me everyday as I fail, pray and show my kids the love and grace of God.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Loving Others, Sharing Christ

What keeps us from sharing our faith with others?  What keeps ME from sharing my faith in a bold way with others?  My lack of love for others.  I am so selfish.  I get so caught up in what I am doing and what I need to get done that I don't make time for others like I should.  I think of the people God puts in my path on a daily basis and how I could share what Christ has done for me.  When we take the focus of life off of ourselves and put them on Christ, then we can be bold and proclaim the love of Christ to others.  I want to be an example to my children in all areas of my life that Christ has done something awesome in my life and the least I can do is be selfless and share this with others.